“The Art of Remembrance” Teens Use Creative Arts to Support Alzheimer’s While School Is Closed

September 1, 2020

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–During this time where school, work and life events are put on pause, free time has become an opportunity for community support to shine. Richard Zhu, a sophomore at the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ, could not resist to continue his passion for art. Zhu saw the potential for something beautiful resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – he founded The Art of Remembrance organization, using fine art, poetry, illustrations, and creative writing to support Alzheimer’s disease.

Zhu, along with his talented peers, Carol Ge, Tianran Song, Vincent Zhang, Yuchi Zhang, and Lily Wang, designed a creative arts magazine to raise money to support the Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LIAD) Center, a social adult day program in Westbury, NY that has pivoted its hands-on programs to virtual platforms to continue support for families living with the challenges brought on by cognitive impairment.

“In a span of less than eight years, my grandmother, Hu Weide, went from a caring and joyous woman to a shadow of herself,” says Richard Zhu. “In her honor, we curated a collection of our art, which explores human emotion during times of crisis…through our art, we hope to rejuvenate people during this time and support those most vulnerable.”

“We are so touched by the Art of Remembrance’s generosity and inspired by their creativity,” says Tori Cohen, Executive Director of the Long Island Alzheimer’s & Dementia Center. “Their unique fundraiser will help the LIAD Center continue to provide families critically needed resources, such as support groups and stimulating virtual activities, as well as a safe place to return to when our doors reopen. I’m sure Richard’s grandmother is so proud of the direct impact he and his partners will have on so many of our families, providing a sense of hope and comfort during this overwhelming time.”

To support The Art of Remembrance and learn more about the LI Alzheimer’s & Dementia Center’s COVID-19 programs and services, visit www.lidementia.org or call (516) 767-6856.

About the Long Island Alzheimer’s & Dementia (LIAD) Center
For over 30 years, the LIAD Center has been providing supportive community-based services to Long Island families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The LIAD Center offers hands-on and stage-specific programs and services to diagnosed individuals and caregivers. The 501 (c)(3) takes considerable pride in its pioneering role in cutting-edge services that foster the independence, dignity, well-being, and safety of individuals with dementia. Its state-of-the-art center is located at 1025 Old Country Road in Westbury. Until there is a cure, the LIAD Center is the best place for families to find support, guidance, and hope.


Ecology

to love her

is to link dendritic arms

in an electrifying jazz dance of blushing Oxytocin

leaping and rolling along the fatty floors till it bursts

through the calcified studio doors

and into Dopamine’s arms–they dash in dizzying circles

through basal ganglia and gray matter cortices

and the brain is a sizzling city of people spraying the blush in sprawling graffiti

singing the systolic songs of every palpitation

till the beats thud down every street and they

are the set crew constructing your dazzling dance

of infatuation this

is Amsterdam

a dance of constructed aluminum frames

glossy bicycle bells tinkling down every street

whispering songs of whirring chains–

the world scrawls gaseous graffiti with gray exhaust pipes,

dashing poison upon the seas till the polyps collapse in dizzy circles

within bleached calcium cages and acidic arms pry open oyster shells

till they burst–yet the Dutch are rolling

forth in neighborhoods

of bikers tying wire struts together

into a gift of unblemished oxygen and nitrogen

each citizen plugging into the city till it is electrified and Humanity

dances with the Nereids